Sunday, November 19, 2006

On a Stone Raft I float

Ever since I started reading, I mean consciously, i made it a habit that for every book I read, I'll make a note of all the lines I liked in that particular book. I did the same this time while reading the brilliant "The Stone Raft" by Jose Saramago. Written originally in portugese, The Stone Raft is a book that was so different from the works of the various Nobel laureates I have read so far. Devoid on any complexities, the beauty of this book lies in the fact that it is simple and yet so deep. As an indication of what this book is about, I would say this belongs to the same genre as Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. And that brings another point, its ironical that I have to use Coelho as a reference to introduce Saramago when it should be the other way round.
Anyways I am neither a critic nor a reviewer, the purpose of this blog entry is to put down the brilliant lines that I came across while reading the book. I enjoyed them thoroughly and hope everyone else would feel the same.

Tourists who are out and about early are like this, at heart troubled and restless, unable to accept life’s inescapable brevity, late to bed and early to rise does not make one healthy, but it does prolong life.

For something to exist there are two essential conditions, that a man should see it and that he be able to give it a name.

Bad examples have always prospered and borne more fruit than good advice, and who can tell by what rapid means bad example is transmitted.

In the various arts, and above all in that of writing, the shortest distance between two points, even if close to each other, has never been and never will be, nor is it now, what is known as a straight line, never, never, to put it strongly and emphatically in response to any doubts, to silence them once and for all.

Cowardice is worse than an octopus, an octopus can both contract and extend its arms, cowardice can only contract them.

There are people who do not believe in coincidences, when one is constantly discovering coincidences in the world and is beginning to wonder if coincidences are not the very logic of this world.

Clarity and obscurity cast the same shadow and light, obscurity is clear, clarity is obscure, and as for someone being able to say factually and precisely what he feels and thinks, don’t you believe it, not because he doesn’t want to, but because he cannot.

To be jealous of what only appears to exist is a waste of effort.

Priorities of past should not be allowed to hinder the future.

Why bother discussing the reasons, sometimes one is enough, at other times not even lumping them all together will do it, if your own lives haven’t taught you this, too bad for you, and I repeat, lives not life, for we all have several, and fortunately they kill each other off, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to survive.

What count is the moment, we only serve the moment, and moments give us no warning when they’re coming.

A journey only makes sense if you finish it.

Reaching a decision means saying yes or no, the merest whisper on one’s lips, the difficulties come later when one puts the decision into practice, as we learn from human experience, gained with time and patience, with few hopes and even fewer changes.

Wars are like disasters, they never come singly, the first is a trial run to test the ground, the second to improve performance, the third to secure victory, each of them being, according to where you start counting, third, second, and first.

We often hallucinate when we dearly want something, our wise body takes pity on us, simulates within itself the satisfaction of oure desires, that is what dreaming means, If it weren’t so, how we could ever bear this intolerable life.

Real love means keeping no secrets from one’s beloved, the worst comes later when the romance is over and the lover who has confided his secrets regrets having spoken while the beloved abuses his confidence.

Nature is masterly when it comes to composing spectacles attuned to human circumstances.

The potential harmony of things depends on their equilibrium and the time when they occur, not too soon, not too late, which explains why it is so difficult for us to attain perfection.

Men also weep, its nothing to be ashamed of, and weeping only does them good.

Anyone who knows anything about words knows to expect anything from them.

While there’s life, there’s hope, so do not despair.

Governments are only capable and effective at times when there is no real need to put their ability and effectiveness to test.

Each of us sees the world with the eyes he possess, and eyes see what they choose to see, eyes create the world’s diversity and fabricate its wonders.

Dying for the sake of dying is preferable to dying of hunger or some malignant disease.

Courage and fear are the two pans on the scale that oscillate while the pointer remains still, paralyzed by the amazement at the useless invention of emotions and feelings.

Despair, as we all know, is human, there is no evidence in natural history that animals despair. Yet man, inseparable from despair, has become accustomed to living with it, endures it to its extremes.

In moments of crisis indulging the flesh is what best serves the deeper interests of humanity and of human beings, both habitually harassed as they are by morality.

Journeys succeed each other and accumulate like generations, between the grandson you were and the grandfather you will be, what father will you have been. Therefore a journey, however futile, is necessary.

For the strong to brag about their strength in the presence of the weak is a sign of moral perversion.

We all end up where we want to be, its only a question of time and patience, the hare goes faster than the tortoise, perhaps it will arrive first, so long as it does not cross the path of the hunter and his shotgun.

The world is full of coincidences, and if one thing does not coincide with another that happens to be close to it, that is no reason for denying coincidences, all it means is that what is coinciding is not visible.

The wounds of the soul are deep, otherwise they would not be of the soul.

Your questions are false if you already know the answer.

We are probably incapable of filling emptiness, and what we call meaning is no more than a fleeting collection of images that once seemed harmonious, images on which the intelligence tried in panic to introduce reason, order, coherence.

Words become inadequate as we get closer to the frontiers of the inexpressible, we try to say love and the word will not come out, we try to say I want and we say I cannot, we try to utter the final word only to realize that we have gone back to the beginning.

There comes a time when pride has nothing but words.

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2 comments:

GuNs said...

Its very nice that you read thus book and gave us such a splendid review of it. I am someone who reads a very limited number of books, all belonging to the same genere. So reading such reviews makes me pick up a different book once in a while and enjoy the variety of it.

Whats cooking with you life these days? I didnt see any comments from you on my blog in a long time now. Life keeping you very very busy?

-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs

aart hilal said...

Hello,
I also love the work of Paulo Coelho!!!!
Do you know that he has a newsletter?
http://www.warriorofthelight.com/engl/index.html

You can also go to his blog and comment with other readers your impressions... http://www.paulocoelhoblog.com

it's simply wonderful!